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Which countries have the best workplace environments in the world?

Work is invariably the major factor that must be considered when looking at moving to a new country.

Leaked memo says rusty Qantas pilots making errors: report
Covid-19 related disruption to flights meant pilots had less recent flight experience, the Qantas memo said - Copyright AFP/File Saeed KHAN
Covid-19 related disruption to flights meant pilots had less recent flight experience, the Qantas memo said - Copyright AFP/File Saeed KHAN

Packing up and moving to a foreign country is something many employees have considered from time to time. Some opt to emigrate, taking the plunge into a new environment.

Work is invariably the major factor that must be considered when looking at moving to a new country. The type of work is supported other factors that need to be considered, in terms of wages, holiday entitlement and unemployment rate as additional factors that can impact on the decision to move or to stay.

Acuity Training has considered these varying factors and these have been used to create a ranking of the top countries for workplace environments. To achieve this, Acuity looked at various factors including minimum wage, entitled break time and maternity leave, giving ten countries a score out of 200 and ranking them accordingly.

The factors examined were:

  • Minimum Hourly Wage.
  • Weekly Working Hours.
  • Entitled Break Time (Minutes).
  • Percentage of Employees Claiming to Work Very Long Hours.
  • Time Devoted to Leisure and Personal Care (Hours).
  • Unemployment Rate.
  • Gender Pay Gap.
  • Maternity Leave (Weeks Paid).
  • Paternity Leave (Weeks Paid).
  • Holiday Entitlement (Days).

The top five countries for workplace environments were found to be:

Netherlands

The Netherlands which is located between Belgium and Germany ranked in first place, scoring 141 out of 200 points. The country is famous for its cheese, wooden shoes, traditional Dutch homes and coffee shops. The minimum wage in the Netherlands is £8.50, entitled break time is 30 minutes and maternity leave is 16 weeks paid.

France           

France came in second place, scoring 141 out of 200 points. The country boasts some of the most beautiful cities in the world while providing a substantial number of holidays per year. The minimum wage in France is £9.07, entitled break time is 20 minutes and maternity leave is 16 weeks paid.

Belgium         

In third place is Belgium, scoring 138 out of 200 points. Belgium is a country best known for its chocolate and beer, the country is also home to NATO headquarters. The minimum wage in Belgium is £8.39, entitled break time is 15 minutes and maternity leave is 15 weeks paid.

Norway         

Norway, which is located in Northern Europe and occupies the western half of Scandinavia placed third and scored 136 out of 200 points. The country places emphasis on equality in the workplace regardless of an employee’s gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or political views.  There is no minimum wage in Norway, entitled break time is 30 minutes and maternity leave is 15 weeks paid.

Ireland

Finalising the top five is Ireland, with a score of 136 out of 200 points. Ireland is a country packed with beautiful natural greenery. Their work environment is very similar to that of the United Kingdom. The minimum wage in Ireland is £8.75, entitled break time is 30 minutes and maternity leave is 26 weeks paid.

Of the ten countries for the best workplace environments that were ranked, the remainder of the list in order read:

  • Germany (116 points)
  • Sweden (113 points)
  • New Zealand (112 points)
  • Iceland (108 points)
  • Czech Republic (107 points)
  • Canada (107 points)
  • Switzerland (96 points)
  • Austria (86 points)
  • Israel (80 points)
  • United States (64 points)

Each of the top five countries assessed are in Europe, and the U.S. is at the bottom of the list, showing the gulf that exists around the world in terms of employee rights and other workplace factors.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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